I held a baby today, and I liked it.
This is one of those things that terrify me, because while I like children in the abstract, and I certainly like them alive and healthy and cared for, I've never been one for cooing over the infants. Let other people hold them. They're sticky, incomprehensible, and fragile. I don't even think they're all that cute until they're at least four years old. Other people melt into a puddle of goo when faced with a baby. I do not.
I'm afraid I'm slipping.
My friend and her wife swung by work with their four month-old today. The cries of "Aaawww! Bebbe!" rebounded from the call center walls. And my first thought was, "Oshit. They're going to come over here and expect me to hold the damned thing."
They did. Out of a sense of obligation, gingerly, I accepted the offered child. Lodged him on a bony hip. Stared into dark blue-gray eyes. And he fit. It's rare that I feel comfortable with a infant in my arms, but he felt like he belonged right there. Not as cute as a cat, not as fun as a five year-old who can be your excuse to go out and dig up ant lions and build forts and generally relive the sense of adventure you lost when you started having to pay your own bills, but still, here was a baby propping himself against my shoulder so he could have a good look around from a reasonable height, and I wasn't freaking out. I was even enjoying having the little bugger around.
Thankfully, before I could get really mushy-gushy, I got a call and had to heave the kid back at his moms. I am left with a slightly better understanding as to why certain people are so anxious to have one of these things, but secure in the knowledge that I still do not have any desire to actually have one myself. After a bit of self-interrogation tonight, I realize that my determination to enjoy the joys of lack-of-motherhood is still strong as ever. It's just that now I can truly see myself in the role of maiden aunt.
I can now see myself getting an early start on spoiling the little buggers rotten.
Why I thought you all should know this, I have no idea. But I know at least one of you is going to enjoy this immensely. I'll take my "I told you so" on pumpernickel, thankee kindly.